Anything Helps

Anything Helps

He stood alone in the center island formed
by the intersection of Kolb and 22nd Street. 
 
Sheets of white paper held in one hand flapped like 
seagull wings on the stirred currents of whizzing cars.
 
The light turned red.
Cars slowed and rested.
 
Windows slid down.
Elbows protruded.
 
"Mornin', poet. “Any rhymes today?
 Need a giggle terrible like.”
 
“Read yesterday's to my kids at the dinner table.
Got somethin' funny?" 
 
“Mornin', Sir. I need a good cry.
 Touch my heart. It’s hurtin' bad sore.”

He walked the line. Leaned down. Dished ‘em out.
"Mornin', friend," he said. "Good to see you."
   
“Been thinkin’ ‘bout yuh." He smiled.
"Wrote this special for you."

“Hope this helps,” he said. 
"Things are gonna get better."
 
The light changed color.
 Traffic edged away like a reluctant tide going out.
 
Some waved the words out the window in a 
 see yuh later, kinda way—
 
and his ribs ached 
from the banging goin’ on inside.